I promised Jimmie a review, good or bad after I had bent up a few flats.
Please keep in mind that I am a Mechanical Engineer with over 30 years in the field, most of the time working in close proximity with the shops and for quite some time I held the title of Tool Engineer designing Vacuum and injection molds, Jigs/Fixtures, assembly dials, and large dual chain assembly automation loops.
IE: I can be a bit of a snob when it comes to tooling, but I have also seen some very effective cobbled up and quickly made assemblies that "Got 'er done."
When I first received and opened the package from Jimmie my first thought was "Hmm, a bit rough" but everything necessary seemed to be there, and I spent a little time cleaning up everything and putting a finish on the appropriate area's. The one item that concerned me the most was the inside walls of the welded angle iron female die. It wasn't polished and in fact had some light rust.
I removed what I could with a sanding block, and decided to sacrifice a flat to see if the tooling was worth the effort. I was so sure that I was going to ruin the first flat finding out that I needed to spend more time polishing the inner wall that I didn't spend enough time making sure that the flat was perfectly centered.
I ended up with a nicely formed but slightly off-center receiver! It worked just fine, thank you.
So much for the snob aspect of this project, this tooling definitely matches the WECSOG attitude of building AK's, a bit crude but elegant in it's simplicity.
At this point I need to work on my technique to form the top rails. But I am sure that it is me and not the tooling because I am getting better. I've done (3) so far and as long as I do my part they come out fine.
So if you are not going to bend a thousand flats, just some for yourself and a few friends and you would like to save some money on the tooling by doing a little of the secondary work on the tooling yourself then I can recommend these tools.
I have no doubt that they will adequately bend as many flats as I need, and then some.
I had already started gathering material to make my own tooling, but I no longer have access to "free" machine shop resources to do those steps that require equipment that I don't have.
Jimmie's tooling was cheap enough that I doubt that I could have bought the steel and services that I needed to do my own tooling for much cheaper than just buying these from Jimmie, so there is no GULP! factor to contend with.
I am sure that all of the flats that I need will no doubt come out fine, and there is no waiting to do one more thing before proceeding. I'm very happy with what I have for the price I paid. .
Definitely a tool for those of us who have a finite number of flats to bend, and keeping costs down is a necessity.
Great Job Jimmie.